Most moms go through a slump! You are not alone
Are your hair roots grown halfway down your head of hair?
Do you avoid sandals because your feet are hideous?
Is your makeup rotting while your RBF is unintentionally on display at all times? Even on special occasions?
Do you think when people think about you they visualize a hair bun and flat shoes?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, then welcome to the club of most new moms!
After women have children, it’s hard to get back into the groove of everything. We spend all of our time dedicated to our little ones and tend to forget about ourselves.
If you are going through a mom slump right now, there is no mom guilt here. Just encouragement and empathy because most women go through it.
As a mom, it is normal for you to put yourself to the side while you care for your children. You are amazing for it! However, if you feel like you are ready to start thinking about yourself you have come to the right place.
Let’s get you feeling like yourself again.
It took me over a year and a half to snap out of it and to start caring for myself. Yet, I am okay with it because I gave my everything to my daughter and I would not change a thing.
I am going to share with you how I slowly transitioned from run-down mom to a halfway presentable woman. The best part of it all is getting your confidence back. It also feels great to start seeing your pre-mama self in the mirror again because she is there.
The list is basically in the order I did it in, and number six is what really pushed me over the edge to where I want to be.
Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
#1 Start dropping the pounds
The first thing I did was work on getting rid of the pounds I packed on while pregnant. I also gained weight during my maternity leave and the first several months of my daughter’s life.
I may have gained more weight post-partum. Which seems a bit odd, but I am realizing more and more that many women go through this. The stress of having a newborn, lack of sleep, and no desire to cook, combine to create the perfect weight gaining environment.
If you are going through something similar, just know you are not alone and can get back on track.
I do so through drinking green smoothies, eating healthier foods, and cutting out the junk. I do have my moments when I indulge a bit, but for at least five days a week, I am good about what I eat.
I incorporate walking while at work or wherever I am at. I do not have time to go to a gym or to do a regular workout, so I just make sure I walk everywhere.
It’s the small lifestyle changes that help me get through each week. Drinking plenty of water instead of sugary drinks also helps.
If you need more information on losing weight, I have a detailed article about how I lost 20 pounds after having my daughter. Similar to this article, it is all about going at your own pace. You can find it here: How I Lost 20 Pounds of My Post Pregnancy Weight in 3 Months
#2 Tame the wild hair
This is threefold about how I got my hair together. First, I started brushing it again, then I got it colored, and now I style it a bit.
You know how hair grows at an alarming rate during pregnancy? I loved it because I enjoy long hair. I let it grow like crazy.
I did lose quite a bit after giving birth, but it did not even make a dent.
However, while my daughter was a newborn, I basically stopped brushing it and kept it in a bun AT ALL TIMES. This was not good at all. My hair would get tangled, and it got damaged. So I started brushing it, imagine that? Brushing hair. That was step one, but when you are overwhelmed with your baby, it’s worth mentioning
The second thing I did was get my hair colored. I did it right around my daughters first birthday, kind of a gift to myself because coloring is expensive. That made me feel human again! Yet, I still kept my hair in a bun (detangled) for the next six months.
I also stopped washing it just once a week, and I now wash it about twice a week, sometimes more. That is a lot for me!
The third thing I did was start “styling” my hair more. I started by trying out different buns, then I started wearing it down once in a while. When this new year started, I told myself that I would wear my hair down at least once a week.
I have to straighten my hair to wear it down, so it takes a bit of time. But I have successfully kept it up! I am curling my hair again too.
To curl my hair I do not use a curling iron. Instead, I use steam rollers to keep the damage to a minimum and so I can do other things while my hair curls. I use the Caruso Professional Molecular Steam Hair Setter. All you have to do is roll them into your hair, leave them in for about 20 minutes, toss and tease your hair a bit to where you like it, and then hairspray it.
As you can see, I took baby steps towards getting my hair in a place where I can conveniently take the time to put effort into making it look presentable. I definitely did not try to do it all at once. I gave myself enough time in bun mode to handle my daughter and prioritized my abilities. Now I am incredibly consistent in doing my hair.
Most importantly, if I do not have time to do my hair, I do not worry.
#3 Work at getting more sleep
Sleep is magical and keeps you going, but hoping for it does not make it happen. You have to work for it.
I did not get much sleep my first months as a mom, due to my daughter nursing all night, you can read more about how my daughter never drank from a bottle here: Our Breastfed Baby NEVER Drank From A Bottle, How We Survived
There are a few things I have done to get more sleep:
Co-sleeping worked for me when I started working because my daughter wanted to be with me as soon as I got home from work. It’s as if we made up our time together in the evening and at night. I still sleep with her to this day (she is almost two). It is our bonding time.
My reason for co-sleeping is it feels natural to me, humans have probably been co-sleeping for thousands of years. Plus, she is growing fast and will move on, so I am enjoying her while I can. I urge you to do what you feel is right for you and not worry about what other people think is right.
Dividing up responsibilities with my husband has helped me gain more rest when needed. If my daughter took too long of a nap or did not want to sleep for whatever reason, my husband will take care of her and let me rest alone for an hour or sometimes even longer.
This is great when your child is a baby, and you feel like you just need your own nap. If your husband does not have the time – reach out to a sitter or anyone who can watch your baby for a little while. It can really help.
Sticking to an early bedtime allows you more hours of sleep. Yes, you may have to be a homebody for a few months, but it’s worth putting your social life on pause for rest. You may also not have time to do much of anything else, but cutting out online browsing time, social media, watching television, or even working out, may help. Its small sacrifices for your sleep because that can make or break your day.
Having a nightly routine for my daughter and I is instrumental to this day. I am sure you read all the night time routines for babies and toddlers, but the truth is you must incorporate your needs into it. I will admit I was getting bad with my hygiene as a new mom, it’s embarrassing but true.
So instead of just focusing on baby at night, I prioritize myself as well. Now every night I brush my teeth, floss, tongue scrape, brush my hair, wash my face, moisturize my lips, etc. Doing little things like that adds up, and I feel more put together in the morning.
Not to mention my teeth and oral hygiene overall feels fantastic! I also show my daughter the importance of brushing and flossing, she also loves running a brush through her hair too and getting it out of her face. As soon as we are done, she runs to bed.
Resting on the weekends or on your day off is another way to get in extra sleep. I know sleep experts say that you can’t catch up on sleep – but let me tell you it feels good! Especially after a sleepless week, which happens when you work and care for an infant. If you are in need, screw it get that rest when and where you can.
There will be enough weekends in the future to do stuff. Besides, toting around a baby everywhere you go is not as fun as you would think.
Not waking up so early is one way I get in some extra sleep. I do not do this one so much anymore because I take time to get myself ready as mentioned above. But it was beneficial a few months ago when my daughter would wake me up at night often.
***Working mama? I got you covered!***
#4 Set goals
You do not have to do a long drawn out worksheet to state your personal care goals. Do simple things to keep you on track.
For instance, if you have neglected moisturizing and your skin is dry, just tell yourself something like: for the next two weeks, I will focus on getting my skin moisturized.
Then just moisturize daily and try not to forget, make it a habit. To stop my dry skin, I used coconut oil every other day and used lotion daily. I also kept lotion at work so I can put some on mid-day.
Lone and behold, my skin is soft again!
One month I made a goal to get my teeth whiter. So I focused on my oral hygiene and bought some Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrip Teeth Whitening Kit, Glamorous White. The strips have worked amazingly, my teeth are much whiter. I had used them years ago before I was a mom and I feel like they work even better now. I also reduced how much tea and coffee I drink so ensure they stay white longer.
Singularly my goals are not vast or life-changing, but together they add up quite nicely. Think about the little things you want to do to improve yourself and make small goals.
#5 Set aside “me time”
Ugh, I hate saying “me time” it is so cliché, right?
But I have to admit, having a bit of alone time here and there is good for you.
It may sound a bit silly, but my first taste of “me time” after having my daughter was going to the dentist. It was the first thing I did without my daughter, and it felt like a spa day. It is funny but true. It was the first time the attention was focused on me rather than my daughter.
Figure out a few things you can do by yourself or with some pals where you try to not talk about babies.
Here are some things you can do:
- Spa day (but a real one)
- Brunch/lunch/dinner with friends
- Movie with friends or by yourself
- Work out
- Read somewhere quiet (even if it’s a room with no kids)
#6 Treat yourself every paycheck
This year is when I got serious about taking care of myself. I had been on a budget and cut out spending money on my husband and I. One day we woke up and realized our underwear was hanging on by a thread. That is when we realized that we needed to set some money aside for ourselves.
Our daughter was 18 months old, we survived and actually had replenished our savings account.
Starting this year in January every time I got paid I tried to do a little something for myself and I still am.
A few ideas on how you can treat yourself:
- Get your hair colored
- Tame your claws (nails)
- Buy new clothes including panties
- Buy new bras that actually fit (no more nursing bras!)
- Teeth whitening
- Buy new makeup items
- Get waxed in various places
- Face masks
- Lip scrubs
- Buy fancy bath bombs or soak your feet
- Hair deep conditioning
- Buy comfy shoes (I got wedges because I was finally ready to get out of flats)
I spent a bit of money on anything that made me feel confident and better about myself. Let me tell you, it has worked!
Now that we are in May, everything has added up into a more put together mama. I am much more confident than I was last year and I feel great about myself.
Rather than dreading to go out because I felt permanently sluggish, I am excited to do things.
I am even taking more photos with my daughter. Before I was so embarrassed by the way I looked, I avoided taking pictures with her, but now I am confident in how I look to strike a pose every now and then.
My husband, although he loves me for who I am, loves that I am looking better each day and is working on himself too.
It has been good for both of us.
If you feel like you have been stuck in a new mommy rut – have no fear you can get back to feeling like yourself eventually. But remember, no pressure, take your time to get to where you want. As mentioned above, it took me over 18 months (not including my pregnancy) to get back to feeling like myself.
You are a work in progress. If your child needs your full attention give it to him or her, there will come a time when your toddler will be able to do more things on his or her own leaving you with a few free minutes.
It truly is a delicate balance between taking care of yourself and caring for your child. But it is a balance you will eventually master. You can do it and have it all. You just have to do it over time, and at your own pace, you will get there.
For now, just know that there are women out there that will support you, including myself so feel free to reach out to me anytime!
***Working and Pregnant? Read on…***